I love my cozy attic apartment, with my tabla drums in the corner and sloping ceilings above. And I adore my miniscule office in the history department, filled with books and a steady flow of undergraduate students.
I’m a historian, which in my life means that in addition to teaching I’m a history detective who unravels centuries-old mysteries all over the world. This week, however, I’ve traveled over 5,000 miles from home for a different reason.
It was oh-so-tempting to stay home during my university’s weeklong Thanksgiving break, but seeing my best friend Sanjay perform a magic show in Japan was too good an offer to pass up. Sanjay performs as The Hindi Houdini, and he was invited by Japan’s most famous stage magician to be the opening act of a televised magic show.
That’s how I ended up here in Kyoto, Japan. But instead of sightseeing, I find myself being chased by a ninja who’s attempting to sabotage the magic show.
A ninja? Yes, a ninja. A warrior from ancient Japanese culture. I don’t actually think I’ve fallen through time. But there’s a man dressed as a ninja to disguise his identity and throw us off balance. So far, it’s working.
I thought that while Sanjay was practicing his magic act I’d have time to be a tourist and do a bit of my own historical sleuthing in Japan. Silly me. Instead of having time to look into a phantom Dutch trading ship that went missing as it sailed from India to Japan 150 years ago, I’ve had to turn my attention to helping my friend stay alive and make a splash with his Japanese debut. Wish me luck!
You can read more about Jaya in The Ninja’s Illusion, the 5th book in the “Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt” mystery series.
A fabled illusion performed by a stage magician who claims to possess real supernatural powers. A treasure from the colonial era in India when international supremacies vied for power. A phantom trading ship lost over 200 years ago. And a ninja whose murderous intentions in present-day Japan connect the deeds of a long-dead trader who was much more than he seemed. . .
When Jaya Jones travels from San Francisco to Japan with her stage magician best friend Sanjay—a.k.a. The Hindi Houdini—for his Japanese debut, she jumps at the chance to pursue her own research that could solve a tantalizing centuries-old mystery.
With the colorful autumn leaves of historic Kyoto falling around her, Jaya soon loses sight of what’s real and what’s a deception. A mysterious ninja attempts sabotage on Sanjay’s trick, along with Japan’s most controversial magician, Akira. Ancient folklore blurs the lines between illusion and reality when a magician’s assistant appears to be a kitsune, a mythical fox spirit. As tricks escalate to murder, Jaya and her friends must unravel secrets hidden in the ancient capital of Japan, before one of their own becomes the next victim. Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Peters.
“A beautifully complex, fast-paced mystery—a well-crafted blend of modern magic and ancient secrets, full of compelling characters and set in one of Japan’s most beautiful—and mysterious—locations.” – Susan Spann, Author of the Hiro Hattori Mysteries
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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a set of 8 book-themed recipe cards. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends October 6, 2017. Good luck everyone!
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About the author
USA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. She spent her childhood being dragged around the world on their research trips, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and a gargoyle who watches over the backyard vegetable garden.
Gigi’s novels have been described as a cross between Indiana Jones and Agatha Christie. She writes the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series (Artifact, Pirate Vishnu, Quicksand, Michelangelo’s Ghost, and The Ninja’s Illusion), the Accidental Alchemist mysteries (The Accidental Alchemist, The Masquerading Magician, and The Elusive Elixir), and locked-room mystery short stories. Gigi’s fiction has been awarded the Malice Domestic Grant and Lefty Awards, and shortlisted for Agatha and Macavity awards.
All comments are welcomed.